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Map Question

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Just_learning, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. Just_learning

    Just_learning New Member

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    There are some great maps posted here but I am a little confused. Most maps are world maps and not regional ones. Does that mean that the story they are for takes place throughout the world? If the story only involves the MC going to cities in his region would not a regional map work as well?

    It would take a very long time for my MC to walk from one corner of his country to the other opposite end. He would be dead by the time he finished :)
     
  2. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

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    It would take months to cross the USA on foot... A man could do that many times in his lifetime were he so inclined. A man, if geography permitted, could walk around the entire world in a couple years. Just an observation as to how large your "kingdom" must be that he couldn't cross it in his lifetime.


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  3. Just_learning

    Just_learning New Member

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    True. He could probably cross it in a few months but wouldn't that slow down the story? if he does decide to go to another part of his world, what would the other characters be doing in the mean time. Most problems seem to occur within the distance of where you live (regional) Unless you were searching for a potion that would heal your family but again, by the time you got back they would all be dead. I just don't understand the purpose of having a character travel all over the place
     
  4. Noldona

    Noldona Scribe

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    I can't speak for the others, but in the case of my map, the point in having a world map is because I am working on building the world for a tabletop RPG campaign setting. While specific adventures and maybe even whole campaigns might only happen in a specific region of the world, having a whole world in which to run things provides more opportunities for adventures. Also, I am working on my world in a top-down manner. I will be generating continent, kingdom, region, city/town, and floorplan/dungeon maps for my world as well. I actually started at the solar system level. Doing such has helped me understand things about my world and made the world more scientifically accurate/logically consistent, and I feel will end up making a better world overall.
     
  5. X Equestris

    X Equestris Maester

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    I make world maps so that I know where everything is and I have it all out there. I won't use everything in one story, but I have it available in the future.

    As for the purpose of traveling all over the place, it depends on the story. In the novel I'm working on, my protagonists are pursuing a group of mercenaries who kidnapped a uniquely powerful mage child. This pursuit runs across the southern third of the continent, and eventually reveals that there is more going on than a simple kidnapping.
     
  6. Vandor

    Vandor Dreamer

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    Second what X Equestris says. You don't have to give everything to your readers, and some of them might even appreciate it if you cut out the unnecessary material at the moment. Besides, you can always expand later and tell them what's beyond the edge of the map if you so desire. Both Tolkien, Robert Jordan, and Terry Brooks do this significantly. Tolkien uses different regions in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and a previous version of the same world in The Silmarillion. Jordan doubled the size of his map halfway through The Wheel of Time, crossing an ocean for a new race. And Brooks seems to add more features or map space with every new story in his Shannara world.

    At the very least, it gives you room to expand. Also consider giving a world map with a be-side close up of the regions you're dealing with more specifically. Personally, I need to know where the heck everything is when I write/talk about it, otherwise I might lose myself and not just the audience.
     
  7. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    I think making an accurate map becomes easier the more you zoom out.
    I don't know, maybe that's just my experience.

    I suspect that most writers do world maps as a way of getting the "full picture" and they don't really care about their planet being a realistic size. When you only have a region, your writer-mind (being as imaginative as a writer's mind should be) starts wondering what's past those edges.

    I designed my current setting so that maps would be useless. I did this so I wouldn't be tempted to waste time making an unnecessary map. And I'm sure that the reader won't need one.
     
  8. DeathtoTrite

    DeathtoTrite Troubadour

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    I have a map right now about the size of Eurasia; with the southern hemisphere not shown, or the two other large landmasses separated by oceans... my world building right now is a bit excessive... I also have "zoomed in" maps of important countries, and even one of a particularly important city.
     
  9. Long travel periods are generally the plague of many writers, but the absence of a particular character allows for circumstances to occur that would not usually happen if the character stayed in that area.

    Also, feel free to scale your world appropriately. Though I am using a "world" map for my current WIP, the circumference of the world is only about 8000 miles- a tract that is easily covered in about 2 years time on foot. You don't need to make a world that is the size of Earth, and you don't need to develop a planet for every story you create. Feel free to just use a region, or even just a city if your story fits within it.

    It's all about deciding on where you want the story to go, and fleshing out the areas that actually matter.

    Hope this helps! :^)
     
  10. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

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    As a rule yes, assuming you didn't skip over the long tedious, monotonous days on the road and right to places where something happens. You don't need to go into that much detail about what they do everyday during their travels unless somehow it's important to the story, character development or whatever. You don't see authors writing over their characters urinating or defecating unless it's somehow important. Same goes for long days/weeks of travel.

    The forge is 300 miles of seemingly endless sand, and runs from Drake's rift in the east to the Anvil mountains in the west. Each day brings him closer to those craggy spires and each day he mutters to himself of the sand in his boots and having to watch for the sand vipers that nest beneath the waves of yellow powder. Nineteen days go by like that.

    In a village at the base of those red and brown striated sandstone peaks, he stops, grateful for a chance to refill his barrels and waterskins. Some chilled wine in the Shaky Possum really cools him down, though the weather is the same here as it had been in the forge.


    I think you get the picture.

    The map I use for my novel is a regional one, not a world map, so it is easier to work with in regards of keeping track of where things are in relation to anywhere else. I have the rest of the world mapped out too, mostly anyway, but as of yet I haven't needed much beyond the map I use.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
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